Under the current health situation, many new markets have emerged including the sale of UV lamps on the web, destined for the general public. These so-called bactericidal devices are in fact far from effective, and above all, they are vectors of development for skin cancers.
Why are they not as promising as their advertising suggests? How to protect yourself from viruses? We answer your questions in this article.
The risks linked to the UV lamps for sale on the web
UV lamps sold on the web seem to have everything going for them. Indeed, their advertisements generally sell them rather well by mentioning for example:
- Laboratory tests were able to show that UVs can eliminate up to 99% of bacteria and germs;
- A price that defies all competition;
- Due to high demand, our product is now impossible to find in stock…
Not only do these UV lamps reassure by the mention of “laboratory tests”, they are also attractive because they are affordable and they create demand, as you must reserve the device to be sure to obtain it.
However, we should question these lamps a bit more. Indeed, most of the time they come with no explicit guarantee of performance. If these devices keep their promise and actually project UV rays, it would mean that there is no guarantee of the safety of users in the face of these harmful rays. (1)
How effective are the UV lamps sold on the web?
Even though ultraviolet rays have bactericidal properties, the over-the-counter devices sold on the web are in fact mainly photocopiers that project UVs on an object or surface.
Indeed, these UV lamps generally do not mention the wavelength or the standard units of the devices. That is, in order to function and display bactericidal properties, these UV lamps would have to be able to project the exact dose of UV rays in order to reach the bacteria present on objects and/or surfaces. However, reaching a sufficient dose would require extremely powerful UV lamps, that would certainly be much larger than the small UV devices available on the web.
The risks of overly-long exposure to UV rays
Overly-long exposure to artificial or natural UV rays can lead to many health problems.
- Drying of the skin;
- Tumors and cancers.
In fact, solar radiation was classified as a Group 1 carcinogen in 1992 by theInternational Research Agency.
In addition, several studies show that over-exposure to UV rays can cause severe burns and the risk of melanoma. (2) As the Directorate General of Health states: “At this time, we do not recommend the use of “UV cleaners” for the decontamination of potentially contaminated objects.”
Finally, the National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety insists on the fact that UV radiation leads to immunosuppression. Indeed, following their latest report on artificial rays, UV rays decrease the elimination of precancerous lesions and thus play a role in the progression of skin cancers. (3)
How to protect yourself from viruses?
When it comes to protecting users who are uninformed about these technologies, barrier gestures remain the most effective in day-to-day life. Recommended by the government, they state:
- Washing your hands very regularly with soap and hydroalcoholic gel;
- Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or handkerchief;
- Using a single-use handkerchief and discarding it afterwards;
- Greeting others without shaking hands, avoiding hugging.
Nevertheless, the protection of your customers and employees is necessary to ensure the opening of your business. This is why PuriTechs offers several devices that efficiently and safely eradice viruses in your premises. You can find two articles available on the blog:
- Protecting your customers: how to organize during the health crisis?
- Why and how to disinfect my company’s premises?
For more information on ultraviolet rays, we have an article entirely dedicated to this topic.